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Explore the world and find the answers you seek.

Have questions about your upcoming trip, or want to know what it's like traveling with Road Scholar?

How It Works

Who is Road Scholar for?

Whether solo travelers or couples, Road Scholars are passionate lifelong learners, usually over the age of 50. Road Scholars want an in-depth learning experience about destinations, subjects and ideas that intrigue them!

Usually, Road Scholars are lifelong learners over the age of 50.

No, you don’t need to be a member to enroll in our learning adventures. Road Scholar is open to all inquisitive explorers.

A Road Scholar adventure is the best kind of educational experience, with no prerequisites and no homework. It’s learning for the thrill of it.



What’s included?

Our programs are all-inclusive. From expert-led lectures and field trips to lodgings, most meals, gratuities, and group transportation—we handle all the details and all the costs incurred during our programs, including those you might not anticipate.

On our International trips, we can take care of your airfare, too. We’ve negotiated special fares and routings that work best — on premium economy and business class fares, too. 

That’s right. Apart from our educational focus, what makes us so unique is that we include most everything in the price of our programs. Why do we do this? Because a learning experience should include every element that is key to the curriculum. You shouldn't have to pay extra to enter a museum or to visit a must-see icon that will enhance your experience — so we include everything we believe is essential.

We do have free time built into most programs which you can see in our daily itineraries. For those looking for an enriching social environment with the group as well as time to strike out on their own, we recommend our Independent City Discoveries learning adventures.

Lodging on our programs is varied and is largely dictated by program type and destination. Your comfort is a top priority, but we also consider other factors including location, meeting room space, onsite dining availability, accessibility, amenities, etc. Whether you’ll be staying in a historic hotel in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter or on a river barge floating down the Seine, we put a lot of care into where you’ll spend the night.

Yes, on most Road Scholar programs we supply Quietvox assisted listening devices, so the Road Scholar Group Leader or instructor is able to speak to the group and be heard when out on the move. Our listening devices come with T Coil/induction loop for hearing-aid wearers. When using this method, you will hear the speaker directly through the hearing aid, but will not hear anything else happening around you. For this reason, the majority of participants use regular over-the-ear headphones.

In order to get the full Road Scholar experience we don’t encourage participants to skip planned activities, but understand it happens from time to time. Participants are welcome to opt out of a portion of their program, but we do ask they communicate this with their group leader to discuss when and where they will rejoin the group. Also, please note there is no refund for any portions of the program missed. Any transportation necessary to rejoin the group is your responsibility and at your own expense.

The group leader’s role is to help provide an enriching Road Scholar learning adventure.  They will be with the group throughout their journey every step of the way working to ensure everything runs smoothly, getting you to your planned activities and meals on time to shifting gears and making adjustments for any last minute changes.

We understand this request is a priority shared by many of our participants, and we will always do our best to accommodate this need by chartering motor coaches equipped with bathroom facilities. However, because we cannot guarantee that the motor coaches we use will have adequate facilities available, the group will be making planned stops every 2-3 hours so that everyone will have a chance to stretch their legs and use bathrooms if necessary.

The Group Leader(s) will also take care to point out restrooms at all sites, restaurants, etc. visited during the day, encouraging folks use them at disembarkation and before re-boarding the bus. Note: if due to the nature of an activity, we are unable to stop every 2-3 hours (example: a safari drive in the middle of the Serengeti or a 3 hour hike in Nepal) the exception will be noted in the daily activity notes on the sample program itinerary. 

We ask that all participants rotate their seats while traveling on the buses, however, if this is a concern please be sure to note this on under your “Personal Information,” found in the Upcoming Trips section for your online Road Scholar account.   This will alert your group leader, who will work with you to ensure your comfort throughout your adventure. 

Our programs do not always include porterage.  You should only pack what you can handle and come prepared to carry your own luggage.

If a meal is excluded you can see this clearly noted on the sample program itinerary.  This can be found by clicking into the  “Itinerary & Map” tab on the program page of your selected adventure. 


Every program includes the Road Scholar Assurance Plan, which provides 24—hour emergency assistance in the unlikely case of a medical emergency.



Is insurance included with Road Scholar programs?

When we say we take care of every detail, we mean it. For your peace of mind, we include the Road Scholar Assurance Plan at no extra cost. It’s a great benefit. The plan provides 24-hour assistance in the event of an emergency during your program. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Medical escort if necessary
  • Assistance with lost or delayed baggage
  • Lost, stolen or damaged baggage insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance

Please note that the Road Scholar Assurance Plan does not provide protection for cancellation, interruption or travel delay. However, if you’d like to protect your investment, we do offer the optional Road Scholar Trip Protection Plan with "Cancel for Any Reason" coverage.



How big are the groups on Road Scholar programs?

One size doesn’t fit all, and that’s why we offer multiple group sizes for different experiences and budgets. Our Trip Lab experts calculate the perfect size for each program experience based on the destination, content and cost. If it’s a large group program, we’ve determined when and where groups should be broken up for the optimal experience. Many folks prefer smaller groups for a more intimate experience, but some don’t mind a little larger group if it’s more budget-friendly. Our range of group size options is part of our unmatched breadth of programming— so you can find the right group size for you. Pro tip: Because group size may vary by date, please check the Dates and Prices tab of these programs to ensure you are enrolling in the right-size group for you.


Micro: “Micro Group” programs are our smallest with a max of 12 participants.

Small: “Small Group” programs range from 13-24 participants.

Standard: If no group size is specified in the “General Notes” for a program, all other groups range from 24-40 participants. This optimal group size helps keep prices lower on programs that involve high-cost items like coaching but is still lower than the industry average of 45 travelers.

Large: Our large group programs— usually based around ships, festivals or other special events— range from 50 all the way up to several hundred participants, broken into smaller groups for most activities.

Learn More About Group Sizes



Do you offer financial assistance?

Yes! We offer scholarships for those who don’t have the resources to take part in a Road Scholar learning adventure. Available on our programs in the U.S., there are two kinds of financial assistance:


Scholarships are awarded to lifelong learners without the financial means to participate in our learning adventures. Each year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, more than 300 Scholarships are awarded.

Caregiver Grants

Caregiver Grants provide a much-needed respite from the emotional and physical demands inherent in caregiver service. We're committed to helping you offset the costs of arranging substitute care while you attend a Road Scholar learning adventure.

Our scholarships are made possible through the generosity of our donors. Make a donation to share the joys of a Road Scholar learning adventure.



How do I enroll?

The Road Scholar website makes enrolling online a snap, any time you like. All the information you could ask for is right here. Once you’ve picked the date of the program you want, we’ll ask for all the necessary details — whether you want airfare or a single room or have special meal requests. For our Intergenerational and Family adventures and other special types of programs, we ask that you call us to enroll. Other than that, you can enroll in any of our other programs through our website.

When the date of the program you want to enroll in has no more space available, you can add yourself to the waitlist for that date. We keep the waitlist in the order people are added to it, so the first ones on the waitlist are the first to enroll in the program if space becomes available. To get on the waitlist, we ask that you pay the normal deposit for that program, and we’ll refund your deposit should you not become enrolled. You can also call us and we can remove you from the waitlist at any time.

Many of our learning adventures offer extensions, either before or after your program. Usually a few nights long, sometimes even longer, our extensions give you the opportunity to make the most of your travel budget and dig deeper into a different location or topic with us.

If you want to make your own plans to arrive early or stay longer, you can take advantage of our special rate available through many of the lodgings we use. We’ll provide information about how to make your own reservations in the information packets you’ll receive after you enroll.

If you have any questions or prefer to enroll over the phone, we’re here to help. Give us a call at (800) 454-5768.



What happens after I enroll?

After you enroll, we’ll send you an enrollment packet that has basic information about your order, such as the names of those enrolled, your rooming selection and payment information.

Next, we’ll send you an Information Packet that includes an up-to-date daily schedule, contact information, travel directions, a packing list, a reading list — everything you’ll need to prepare. If you enroll in one of our International or Adventures Afloat programs, you’ll receive an additional Information Packet with more details.

If you purchased airfare with us, we’ll send you information that has all your airfare details.

If you have an online account with us, you can access all your trip information as soon as it’s available. If you don’t have a Road Scholar online account, why not create one now?

Every detail of every program is overseen by our hundreds of Road Scholar staff working across the globe to meet the needs of our participants. We work with a network of the world’s leading universities, museums and other organizations to operate our extraordinary collection of learning adventures.

Your safety is our greatest concern. For whatever the reason, if we decide to cancel your program, you’ll get a refund on your program or you can transfer your tuition to another program. For more information, please visit



I love the Road Scholar mission. Can I support it through a donation?

Ever since our founding, donors who believe in our mission have supported us through contributions. Donations of every size help us develop an extraordinary range of learning adventures for as wide an audience as possible. Learn how you can donate.

Donations help us offer financial assistance to those who don’t have the means to experience a Road Scholar learning adventure. Learn about supporting our Scholarships.



Where can I see terms and conditions?

View our Program Terms & Conditions here